I acquired a 9-month-old black Lab in October. When I took him to the vet I was told that he has excessively dry skin and to put a little fat in his diet. I did this, but he continues to scratch nonstop and he's losing hair. What else can I do for him?Also, he is quite "mouthy," especially if he can't get his way. I have tried rattling pennies in a can, squirting water and using rolled newspaper across his nose -- nothing works. Any suggestions?.
P.C., Detroit, MI Jun 19, 2005
I would not advise putting fat in your dog's food. A far better remedy for a dry coat is a tablespoon of vegetable oil, like safflower or flaxseed oil, and a teaspoon of brewer's or nutritional yeast.The veterinarian should check your dog's stools for worms, which are common in young dogs, who can have lackluster coats when these parasites rob them of nutrients.Your dog's "mouthy" behavior is his way of making playful contact. So play with him -- throw a toy for him to retrieve, have a tug of war with an old knotted towel and giving him beef marrowbones to chew.In order for your dog to learn his boundaries and for you to learn better control, some basic obedience training is also clearly called for.
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